Non-Defense Share of Federal Spending Heads to 50-Year Low
Regardless of whether it’s the Democrats or Republicans who win the current budget deliberations, Congress is on course to spend a smaller share of the nation’s economic activity on non-defense programs than it has in half a century.
Discretionary spending is that portion of the federal budget that has to be approved by Congress, as opposed to mandatory spending, such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and interest on the national debt. Historically, half of discretionary goes to the military and half goes to such non-military programs as government operations, law enforcement, education, transportation, national parks, research, and welfare assistance. It is this non-defense discretionary spending that is projected to reach its lowest level since 1962.
“Historically, those nondefense discretionary programs have accounted for about one-fifth of all spending,” Niraj Chokshi wrote at the National Journal. “But, as a share of economic activity, that spending is about to dip to its lowest levels since 1962” by the year 2017.
What’s happening is that appropriations for these programs are not growing for the most part, which can be attributed to Republican efforts to reign in government spending.
Democrats and Republicans have released competing budget plans, and while the Democratic one is a little more generous, it will still result in a decades-low share of spending, according to Chokshi.
-Noel Brinkerhoff, David Wallechinsky
To Learn More:
Nondefense Slice of Domestic Spending on Track to Hit 50-Year Low (by Niraj Chokshi, National Journal)
Left and Right Unite in Call for Congress to Cut Defense Spending (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
Disconnect: Public Wants Cuts in Defense Spending; Democratic and Republican Leaders Don’t(by Matt Bewig, AllGov)
- Top Stories
- Unusual News
- Where is the Money Going?
- U.S. and the World
- Appointments and Resignations
- Latest News
- Obama Has Overseen the Smallest Reduction in U.S. Nuclear Stockpile of Any Post-Cold War President
- V.A. Cut off Benefits of 4,200 Veterans They Wrongly Claimed Were Dead
- U.S. Government and Oil Company Trade Blame 12 Years into Gulf of Mexico Oil Leak that Could Last 100 Years
- Disconnect Persists between Trump’s Lack of Economic Bona Fides and His Supporters’ Belief in Them
- Republican-Backed Ohio Law Eliminating Early Voting Ruled Unconstitutional